Russian pro-Kremlin youth movement pickets British embassy in Moscow: “We’ll rip you a Union Jack-shaped hole for Assange!”

A couple of days ago Mestnye, a pro-Kremlin, anti-immigrant youth movement (not quite as notorious as Nashi or The Young Guard) picketed the British embassy protesting against alleged double standards of British justice. The whole point of the picket was to point out a discrepancy: why is Julian Assange, an honest man, freedom fighter etc, is persecuted while Akhmed Zakayev, a known terrorist, enjoys his political refugee status in the UK? The news footage features banners with hilariously misspelled Assange’s name, Uncle Sam with a cigar and cool top hat dragging a guy wrapped in Union Jack (and wearing a graduate hat for some reason) on a leash, and two spokesmen from the Pirate Party of Russia. One of the slogans “We’ll rip you a Union Jack-shaped hole for Assange”, which is a popular taunt in Russian. I think it has more to do with the geometrical qualities of Britain’s flag than with Anglophobia, and there’s also a much more vulgar version of this insult that involves someone’s anus.

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